BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — After 47 years of service to Western Kentucky University
Athletics, Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Training and Sports Medicine
Bill “Doc E” Edwards has announced his retirement, effective June 30.
“We are thankful for “Doc E”’s countless contributions to WKU Athletics over his
nearly five decades of commitment to our student-athletes and sport programs,”
Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “His impact as a department head and mentor
for hundreds of future athletic trainers leaves a sterling legacy.”
Edwards, a 2016 inductee into WKU’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni, was named Head
Athletic Trainer at WKU in 1983 after six years as an assistant and was elevated to
his current post in 2009. A two-time graduate of the University in 1974 and 1976,
Edwards came to The Hill as a student in 1970 and began his career as a student
athletic trainer. He received his degree in Physical Education in 1974 and was a
member of Phi Delta Theta, where he served as fraternity president in 1973-74.
Edwards followed his undergraduate curriculum by earning his graduate degree in
Secondary Education and Health Education from WKU in 1976 and certification with the
National Athletic Trainers Association, a distinction he has held since 1975.
Edwards will be honored for his contributions to Hilltopper Athletics during
Saturday’s Red vs. White WKU Football Spring Game.
Under Edwards’ leadership, the athletic training program has grown from a staff of
three to 12 certified athletic trainers who provide health care and athletic
training for all 16 WKU sport teams. Edwards also coordinates a large group of
sports medicine specialists, including team physicians and physical therapists, to
ensure appropriate, time and state-of-the-art health care for WKU student-athletes.
In addition to his daily athletic training duties, Edwards has served as a faculty
member since 1977 and teaches in the School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport on
The Hill, mentoring countless numbers of future sports professionals.
Over his time on The Hill, Hilltopper and Lady Topper teams have combined to win 164
total conference championships across the Ohio Valley, Sun Belt and now Conference
Edwards was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Trainers Society (KATS) Hall of Fame
in 2010 and served as treasurer of the board for many years. Along with his KATS
duties, Edwards is a member of the Alumni W-Club Board of Directors and has served
as treasurer of that board since 1996.
He is married to the former Jennie Willoughby, and they have two daughters, Faith
and Rachel. Between them, the family has six degrees from WKU. Including Faith’s
husband, Corey Johnson, and Rachel’s husband, Will Conley, that degree number totals
In a statement, Edwards said of his retirement:
“As I close out my career, I am extremely indebted to my mentor and our first full
time athletic trainer, Russell Miller, who extended me an offer to become a student
athletic trainer in the fall of 1970. I have been so fortunate to work at my alma
mater my entire career. Through five presidents, nine athletic directors, seven
years with basketball, 47 years with football, eight football coaches, and 533
football games, it’s time for a new chapter.
I am thankful to President Downing and coach John Oldham for hiring me and for the
privilege of working with many of my heroes: Coach Jimmy Feix, “Butch” Gilbert, Jim
Richards, Clem Haskins, Jack Harbaugh, Bill Powell, Burch Oglesby, Wes Strader and
many others. I’ve been blessed to work with over 200 student athletic trainers, 29
associate athletic trainers and my team physicians who have been the best. I’m
appreciative of the support our administration has provided to our Athletic Training
and Sports Medicine Department.
I am thankful to my parents Bill and Patty Kinslow for giving me the opportunity to
attend WKU. Most importantly, I appreciate the love and support of my wife, Jennie,
and my daughters, Faith and Rachel, and son-in-laws, Corey Johnson and Will Conley,
for allowing me to work in a great profession at the best university.
I am retiring from my position but not from my university and looking forward to
great days ahead.”